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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Science & Society

From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.

May 2014

Prenatal antidepressant use may up autism risk in sons

by  /  9 May 2014

Women who take antidepressants such as Prozac while pregnant may increase their sons’ risk of autism and developmental disability, reports a study published 14 April in Pediatrics. But, like other studies before it, the study leaves room for doubt.


Mothers of children with autism share their sensory problems

by  /  2 May 2014

A small study published 3 April in Molecular Autism has found that 98 percent of mothers of children with autism have unusual responses to sensory stimuli, including light, sound and touch.


Clinical research: Low maternal thyroid raises autism risk

by  /  2 May 2014

Children born to women who have low levels of the thyroid hormone have a moderately increased risk of developing autism, according to a large Danish study published 10 March in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

April 2014

Autism lesion or artifact? Experts discuss new find

by  /  30 April 2014

Disorganized patches found in the brains of children with autism prompt debate about their significance for the disorder. Three experts give their perspectives.


Recommendations may alleviate child psychiatrist shortage

by  /  25 April 2014

The U.S. has a severe shortage of active child and adolescent psychiatrists, but more scholarships and training opportunities may increase their ranks, says a report released 27 March.


Clinical research: Father’s age affects child’s risks

by  /  22 April 2014

Children born to fathers older than 45 years have a heightened risk of developing a range of conditions, from autism to addiction, according to a large Swedish study published 1 April in JAMA Psychiatry.


Lisa Croen discusses autism in adults

 /  30 April 2014

Watch the complete replay of Lisa Croen’s webinar on her epidemiologic investigation of a large population of adults with autism.


A cautionary tale for autism drug development

by  /  15 April 2014

Poorly designed animal drug studies for motor disorders have led to spurious conclusions for the clinical trials that follow. This may be even more true for autism research, says Michael Ehlers.


Study implicates obese fathers in children’s autism risk

by  /  11 April 2014

The children of obese fathers may be at a 53 percent higher risk of autism than children whose fathers are a healthy weight, reports a large Norwegian study published 7 April in Pediatrics.


Even ‘baby sibs’ without autism show delays in first year

by  /  10 April 2014

Among the younger siblings of children with autism who do not have the disorder themselves, more than one-quarter show developmental delays at their first birthday, according to a study published in April.